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Not dyscalculia...

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    Not dyscalculia...

    My 12 year old has had trouble in math for many years. He understands the concepts, but the majority of his answers tend to be one to two digits off, especially when dealing with large numbers. He forgets to add carried digits, or will just write the wrong digit when he is thinking of the right one...there's no real pattern to the mistakes other than they're just silly things that would make you think he was rushing or just being careless. I originally thought it was a rushing issue, but he's gotten better about that. I had him use a bookmark to help him focus on only one column at a time, but it didn't help.

    I looked into dyscalculia, but that doesn't seem to fit.

    This situation is frustrating him to the point of tears as he's trying so hard to get the right answers and just can't seem to get it -- and not for lack of math knowledge.

    Are there any other strategies we can try?
    Jennifer


    2018-2019
    DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
    DS-12 (6M)
    DS-10 (SC3)
    DD-8 (MP2)
    DD-6 (SC2)
    DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

    #2
    Re: Not dyscalculia...

    How are his math facts?
    This sounds a lot like my son with ADHD and dyslexia. He easily understands the math concepts but is so not detail-oriented that he makes lots of little mistakes and often misremembers math facts.

    Do you have him rework the missed problems? Maybe that will help inspire him to go back and check for those little mistakes before turning work in. It is frustrating and time-consuming but maybe an accommodation he needs to learn to make for himself?
    Catherine

    2018-19
    DS15, 9th
    DS13, 6th
    DS11, 5th
    DD11, 5th
    DS6, K
    DD3
    DS 10 mos

    Homeschooling 3 with MP
    2 using First Form series in school

    Comment


      #3
      Re: Not dyscalculia...

      Originally posted by CatherineS View Post
      How are his math facts?
      This sounds a lot like my son with ADHD and dyslexia. He easily understands the math concepts but is so not detail-oriented that he makes lots of little mistakes and often misremembers math facts.

      Do you have him rework the missed problems? Maybe that will help inspire him to go back and check for those little mistakes before turning work in. It is frustrating and time-consuming but maybe an accommodation he needs to learn to make for himself?
      His facts are actually the best out of all my kids. I do have him rework his problems, and we've been doing that 98% of the time for nearly two years. Sometimes he can find the mistake quickly, other times he has no idea where he got off track. He definitely makes those detail-oriented mistakes in all of his work. Even copywork will have numerous spelling errors. But we've been working on it and he's gotten MUCH better with that. That's another reason why I'm unsure if the ADD is the sole cause. I suspected dyslexia with him when he was younger as he reversed letters and numbers but he grew out of it. He forms his cursive o's funny though: by going up to the top of the o and then going around the right side and then making a loop just after the middle to connect it to the next letter -- hopefully that description makes sense!

      I thought that reworking problems, getting him to go slower, etc would help but we've been at that for a long time and he's not improving and it's really frustrating him.
      Jennifer


      2018-2019
      DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
      DS-12 (6M)
      DS-10 (SC3)
      DD-8 (MP2)
      DD-6 (SC2)
      DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Not dyscalculia...

        1. My son makes those o's.

        2. You might turn his paper sideways to where the lines become columns. Or try graph paper.

        3. I think I might cut the number of problems down, maybe by half, and have him work each twice. Just a guess here. That"s how I work math tests. Work it once and again. This would be a habit, not a correction thing.
        Michelle in Central Tx
        DS 12 (4A modified), Ds 9 (4M), DS 5 (K)

        Comment


          #5
          Re: Not dyscalculia...

          Originally posted by mymommy1 View Post
          1. My son makes those o's.

          2. You might turn his paper sideways to where the lines become columns. Or try graph paper.

          3. I think I might cut the number of problems down, maybe by half, and have him work each twice. Just a guess here. That"s how I work math tests. Work it once and again. This would be a habit, not a correction thing.

          He writes o's like that?! Okay Michelle, now we REALLY have to meet, LOL!

          His math is in workbook format and I think he would freak out if I told him he now had to write everything out on graph paper, but I do like the work twice idea and the first version would still be in the workbook. He's on a tight timetable to get ready for pre-Algebra but I think he could do half in the morning and half in the afternoon...
          Jennifer


          2018-2019
          DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
          DS-12 (6M)
          DS-10 (SC3)
          DD-8 (MP2)
          DD-6 (SC2)
          DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Not dyscalculia...

            Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
            This situation is frustrating him to the point of tears as he's trying so hard to get the right answers and just can't seem to get it -- and not for lack of math knowledge.
            So sad! Yet this is telling. He is not being (literally) care-less.

            Maybe you and he could approach this with a less emotional/more scientific experiment to see if a change in his work environment helps. Does he need a quiet place, different lighting, a less cluttered work surface? If you can tweak such things, this might help.

            Another option would be this:
            He turns in his completed paper to you, so he can see that he finished the problems. You place a checkmark on the page for completion. Then you allow him a calculator, so he can check his answers. This way he is still working the problem, rather than merely turning to an answer key to find out he was wrong. If he discovers any incorrect with the calculator, he can change them before turning in the paper for grading.


            If all else fails, you might slow the pace of his math courses. We did this, because my son had a similar difficulty. He knew his math facts and understood conceptually, but he has ADHD for which stimulants could not be administered due to his bipolar-type schizophrenia. He needed to train himself to super-attend to each problem, even with graph paper. To accommodate this, I needed to check his work more frequently, and he needed to become more methodical. This necessitated dividing his lessons in half and spreading them over two days, but accuracy improved dramatically.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Not dyscalculia...

              Originally posted by cherylswope View Post
              So sad! Yet this is telling. He is not being (literally) care-less.

              Maybe you and he could approach this with a less emotional/more scientific experiment to see if a change in his work environment helps. Does he need a quiet place, different lighting, a less cluttered work surface? If you can tweak such things, this might help.

              Another option would be this:
              He turns in his completed paper to you, so he can see that he finished the problems. You place a checkmark on the page for completion. Then you allow him a calculator, so he can check his answers. This way he is still working the problem, rather than merely turning to an answer key to find out he was wrong. If he discovers any incorrect with the calculator, he can change them before turning in the paper for grading.


              If all else fails, you might slow the pace of his math courses. We did this, because my son had a similar difficulty. He knew his math facts and understood conceptually, but he has ADHD for which stimulants could not be administered due to his bipolar-type schizophrenia. He needed to train himself to super-attend to each problem, even with graph paper. To accommodate this, I needed to check his work more frequently, and he needed to become more methodical. This necessitated dividing his lessons in half and spreading them over two days, but accuracy improved dramatically.
              I love the calculator idea! I think it would help him gain some emotional distance from the situation rather than having to rework everything by hand (I don't let him use the answer key). I'm really torn about cutting him to half pace...he wants to go into a science-related field so he will need time for at least some advanced math in high school. If he doesn't start pre-Algebra in the fall (8th grade) it will definitely set him behind or require him to do summer math intensives which I don't see going well for him. I'm going to have to think about our options...I will also share with him about your son's math struggles. Being a very sensitive person, it helps him to know that he's not alone and to see how others have overcome.
              Jennifer


              2018-2019
              DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
              DS-12 (6M)
              DS-10 (SC3)
              DD-8 (MP2)
              DD-6 (SC2)
              DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Not dyscalculia...

                Yes, good point. Keep the last option for "if all else fails."

                It could be that attacking the problem himself will give him enough confidence to start turning this around. (We know as adults that sometimes when we're discouraged, we make our own problems worse; but the corollary is also true!)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Not dyscalculia...

                  Originally posted by jen1134 View Post
                  I'm really torn about cutting him to half pace...he wants to go into a science-related field so he will need time for at least some advanced math in high school.
                  A quick encouragement regarding this understandable concern: My twin great-aunts were straight-C students all through high school, partially due to their learning-style differences not being accommodated in the school they attended. When they got to college, they worked hard, blossomed, and went on to become nurses despite their "poor start" in high school. I am not at all saying his current struggles don't matter! I just want give hope for the future.

                  HTH!
                  Michael
                  Memoria Press

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: Not dyscalculia...

                    First, Cherly always has the BEST recommendations! I love her ideas.

                    Also, I encourage you to consider what she said in her book about her kids needing to do Latin and math pretty much year-round. I'd give him a manageable amount per day and just keep going. Math in summer - maybe just less or 3 days a week or something. Also, like Michael said, it's possible to do science in college and not have had tons of math. Is it better to be great at tons of math? Sure, but it's possible. I teach precal to numerous science majors at a major university. Should they know what I'm teaching already? Yes. It's Algebra 2 plus trig. It's better for your student to go at the speed necessary to really understand than to rush and still not be prepared.
                    Michelle in Central Tx
                    DS 12 (4A modified), Ds 9 (4M), DS 5 (K)

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Not dyscalculia...

                      Originally posted by mymommy1 View Post
                      First, Cherly always has the BEST recommendations! I love her ideas.

                      Also, I encourage you to consider what she said in her book about her kids needing to do Latin and math pretty much year-round. I'd give him a manageable amount per day and just keep going. Math in summer - maybe just less or 3 days a week or something. Also, like Michael said, it's possible to do science in college and not have had tons of math. Is it better to be great at tons of math? Sure, but it's possible. I teach precal to numerous science majors at a major university. Should they know what I'm teaching already? Yes. It's Algebra 2 plus trig. It's better for your student to go at the speed necessary to really understand than to rush and still not be prepared.
                      We were planning on summer math as it's the only way we can be ready for pre-Algebra by fall, but it's really good to know that if it proves to be too much we can slow down and it won't hurt him much in the future. Thank you for that perspective!
                      Jennifer


                      2018-2019
                      DS-14 & DS-15 (MP9 Literature, Novare Intro to Physics, Light to the Nations I (CTP), MPOA for: Latin, Pre-Algebra, Ref/Con
                      DS-12 (6M)
                      DS-10 (SC3)
                      DD-8 (MP2)
                      DD-6 (SC2)
                      DD-3 (NT using SCB for gradual intro to JrK)

                      Comment

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